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On February 20, 1962, a member of Mercury Seven blasted off on the agency’s three-orbit mission Mercury-Atlas 6 aboard the spacecraft dubbed Friendship 7.
New photos released to Fox News show the job – and Glenn – in great detail.
Pictures I created “Apollo Remastered” author Andy Saundersusing source footage provided by Stephen Slater, who headed the research and production department for the “Apollo 11” archive.
To produce each new photo, Saunders told Fox News that he stacked hundreds of frames of film on top of each other in several areas of the film — “averaging” the image noise — and “stitching” the frames together, with each photo containing more than 1,000 sample images. Then the output was built using digital processing techniques.
Glenn can be seen waiting for launch for more than two hours before space flight as well as in orbit, watching the booster bend over a land.
According to NASAthe initial launch attempt on January 27 was postponed due to thick clouds that would have prevented monitoring of the rocket’s ascent.
Mechanical and weather problems added further delays.
Glenn boarded the capsule at Launch Complex 14 of what is now the Space Force Station Canaveral in Florida.
After additional delays, after nearly four hours in the capsule, the countdown reached zero at 9:47 a.m. EDT, and the Atlas rocket’s three main engines ignited.
Four seconds later, the rocket climbed above the launch pad, and two minutes and nine seconds later, the two booster motors cut off and were discarded.
After continuing to operate with the power of its center-mounted propulsion engine, within five minutes and one second of flight, the marching engine shut down, and the Friendship 7 broke off after two seconds.
Glenn was in orbit and turned Friendship 7, flying his heat shield in the direction of flight.
Glenn took pictures and went on to report on his and the spacecraft’s condition, successfully controlling the height of the capsule and taking a tube of apple juice and xylitol pills before being given approval for its second orbit.
When Glenn passed over Cape Canaveral during the start of its second orbit, observers noticed a signal that the spacecraft’s landing bag had spread out, meaning that the heat shield required for re-entry was no longer in place.
Although the engineers believed the signal was a mistake, they devised a plan to keep the retrorocket package after retrofit, with the goal of having the straps keep the heat shield in place.
Glenn, who was not explicitly told about the matter, was advised to make sure the landing bag deployment switch was in the “off” position.
It was given the green light to advance to its third orbit, and controllers instructed Glenn to put the landing bag switch on automatic and keep the aft bag in place after retrofitting if the light should come on.
Glenn reported that he did not hear bumping sounds during position maneuvers that would indicate a deployed landing bag.
Near California, the spacecraft launched the three reactors to slow its speed, and engineers closely watched the return of Friendship 7 to Earth’s atmosphere.
As planned, a temporary radio blackout occurred for four minutes and 20 seconds as the spacecraft sped through the upper atmosphere, and Glenn described the return as a “real fireball outside” while parts of the aft suitcase burned.
He manually controlled the spacecraft’s altitude, eventually depleting its fuel supply.
At 28,000 feet the rolling canopy popped up early on, and at 10,800 feet the 63-foot red-and-white main canopy followed.
Friendship 7 landed near Grand Turk Island at 2:43pm EST.
Glenn’s flight took four hours, 55 minutes and 23 seconds.
The nearest ship, the destroyer USS Noah, completed the recovery from the waters, and the recovery process took 21 minutes.
Glenn blew the side hatch, and doctors escorted him to the ship’s sick room for a medical examination. He was then flown to the Great Turk Island, arriving there after about five hours of splashing water.
Later, President John F. Kennedy Distinguished Service Medal of NASA.
After a tour on February 23, 1963, NASA officially passed Friendship 7 to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC.
When he was 77 years old in 1998, Glenn got the chance to fly again with six astronauts On board the STS-95 Discovery shuttle flight.
Glenn was a Marine pilot during World War II, fought in the Korean War and became a test pilot for aircraft, setting a speed record in 1957 during a flight from Los Angeles to New York that took less than 3.5 hours.
He died in Columbus, Ohio on December 8, 2016 at the age of 95.
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